Activities for Introductory GeoscienceHere you will find a wide range of activities for teaching introductory geoscience courses. you can refine your search by selecting the topic or resource type, or by typing in search terms into the search box in the box below.
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Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.
Mapping Plate Tectonic Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Geodesy:Activities
This activity asks students to explore a National Geographic map showing Earth's plate tectonic boundaries. The exercise lets the students examine relationships between plate tectonic boundaries and geologic ...
Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.
Global Earthquakes: Teaching about Earthquakes with Data and 3D Visualizations part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this series of visualizations and accompanying activities, students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes and explore their distribution at plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...
Visualizing Global Earthquakes Where and Why do Earthquakes Occur? part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this activity students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes at and below the surface of Earth and how their distribution is related to plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...
Secretary of Energy part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2011:Teaching Activities
This activity was used in my GEO 101: The Dynamic Earth course to engage the students and get them thinking about different energy resources. It asks them to consider our country's energy needs in the future ...
Petroleum Use Jigsaw Activity/Homework part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Students get one of 3 homework assignments. They then gather in groups, one that has completed each homework to answer questions as a group. The exercises estimate current oil usage, reserves, and amounts available ...
Calculation of your personal carbon footprint part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This worksheet walks the students through the steps for calculating their personal carbon footprint. Additionally it helps them consider options for reducing their carbon footprint and the potential costs of those ...
Energy Gallery Walk part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This is a cooperative learning activity using the Gallery Walk Strategy (strategy from the Starting Point Gallery Walk web pages) to enrich student understanding of the complex nature of solving our nation's ...
Power Source part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
In this lesson-opening activity, students or groups are tasked to make concept sketches that track the source of electrical power as far back as they can conceive. The concept sketches reveal students' prior ...
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Tsunami Think-Pair-Share part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:First Day of Class:Activities
David Mogk, Montana State University Course: Environmental Geology 60 students Connecting course topics to real life can be very powerful. The Activity The semester immediately following the December, 2004 tsunami ...
Subduction Zone Earthquakes part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend several characteristics of subduction zone earthquakes. -
Formation of the solar system part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
This assignment or demonstration works really well for me in describing the formation of the solar system, the shapes and changes in planetary orbits, and introduces Milankovitch cycles.
Richmond's Urban Heat Island part of Cutting Edge:Urban Geology:Activities
Students will be asked questions regarding the causes and impacts of the UHI. They will also be asked to apply this knowledge to two real-world settings and analyze data collected at both locations.
Exploring Cation Exchange Capacity through the use of the Soil Survey part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This assignment allows students to utilize real soil data/information presented online to learn how the some of the physical properties of the soil influence the chemistry of the soil and health of the ecosystem.
Soil Biogeochemical Cycles part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This group activity charges students with teaching their colleagues about the biogeochemical cycle of one key soil element (e.g., either C, N, S, P, Ca, or Fe). Students are given a single class period to summarize ...
Dynamic Reservoir - In-class activity part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This is an in-class activity analyzing our drinking water reservoir, but would apply to any reservoir for which there are basic crest/elevation data and maps available.
JiTT - The Future of Africa's Health with Technology part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What are the benefits and opportunities handheld technology can offer the health sector in Africa? Answer the question from the viewpoint of a health care provider and a patient. Does anyone else benefit? ...
JiTT - Ethics of Fossil Collecting part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What do you think it means for a fossil resource to be "abused"? 2) What's the issue with fossil hunting on federal land (such as National Parks)? Explain what your interpretation of the conflict ...
Determining Earthquake Probability and Recurrence from Past Seismic Events part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
A homework/classroom activity where students collect historical earthquake information and use it to forecast the probability of larger earthquakes.